4. Florinda Bolkan
The mighty Florinda was born in Brazil but moved to Italy after being discovered by Luchino Visconti. She has worked with several high profile directors in her career including John Cassavetes and Vittorio De Sica and she has won several prestigious acting awards in Italy. However, it is her Euro Cult work we are interested in here. Florinda starred in several Gialli and they were roles of mighty substance in which she had to act her socks off as opposed to lying around in her scanties looking beautiful. In Lucio Fulci's Don't Torture a Duckling - one of the greatest Gialli ever made - Florinda played a vengeful witch who gets whipped to death by ignorant villagers looking for a scapegoat over a spate of deaths of young boys. In Flavia the Heretic, she plays a crusading nun looking to overthrow the repressive convent regime. Again, she meets a bitter end. And on Footsteps on the Moon, she was required to play a woman slowly losing her mind. So Florinda had some pretty meaty roles in her Gialli. After the Giallo cycle of films ended, Florinda moved into the mainstream. Today she works as a director and she is widely respected in her adopted homeland Italy.
3. Soledad Miranda
Born in Spain to Portuguese parents, Soledad had to work at a young age because her large family didn't have much money. She was a fully-fledged Flamenco dancer at age 8, but by the age of 16 Soledad knew she wanted to be an actress so she moved to Madrid. She was a successful and well-known actress in Spain, but Soledad had ambitions: she wanted global superstardom. However, marriage and a baby followed and Soledad didn't work for two years in order to raise her infant son. In 1969, she met Euro Cult icon director Jess Franco and she was cast in his film Countess Dracula, in which she is said to have bewitched her co-star Christopher Lee. More films followed for the Franco/Soledad collaboration, including the films she is best known for - Vampyros Lesbos, She Killed in Ecstasy and The Devil Came From Akasava. Soledad achieved her dream. She was offered a major movie deal which would have catapulted her to stardom. She was driving with her husband to sign the contract when there was a major car accident in which Soledad received fatal skull and neck injuries. She died a few hours later in hospital. Soledad Miranda was not only a magnificently beautiful woman, she had class, poise and sophistication as a performer. She carried a wonderful entrancing eroticism to everything she did - just watch the opening sequence to Vampyros Lesbos. A greatly mourned talent who was tragically cut down in her prime.